Jakarta (ANTARA) - Tourists and locals have been advised to remain outside a five-kilometer radius of Mount Semeru after Java’s highest mountain, which is located in Lumajang and Malang, East Java, erupted on Wednesday.

“The eruption occurred at 6:19 a.m. Western Indonesia Time (WIB). The observed column of volcanic ash was white to greyish in color, thick in intensity, and headed west,” Mount Semeru Observation Post officer Sigit Rian Alfian informed in a statement received here in Jakarta.

He said that the eruption was recorded on a seismograph, and had a maximum amplitude of 22 millimeters and a duration of 125 seconds. A 900-meter column of volcanic ash was observed above Mount Semeru's peak.

He urged people to refrain from carrying out activities in the mountain’s southeast sector, along Besuk Kobokan, 13 kilometers from the eruption center.

People have also been asked not to conduct activities within 500 meters of the riverbank along Besuk Kobokan due to the potential of hot clouds and volcanic mudflow up to 17 kilometers from the peak of the mountain.

Alfian also asked people to avoid conducting activities within a 5-kilometer radius of Mount Semeru’s peak due to the danger of wayward stones.

People have also been urged to remain alert for hot clouds, lava, and volcanic mudflow along Mount Semeru’s downstream rivers and valleys, namely along Besuk Kobokan, Besuk Bang, Besuk Kembar, and Besuk Sat, as well as the potential for mudflow in Besuk Kobokan’s tributaries.

On Wednesday, the Mount Semeru Observation Post recorded 77 eruption earthquakes, seven avalanche earthquakes, 18 gust earthquakes, two harmonic earthquakes, and four distant tectonic earthquakes.

Between midnight and 6 a.m. WIB on Wednesday morning, Mount Semeru experienced 28 eruption earthquakes, one avalanche earthquake, six gust earthquakes, and three harmonic earthquakes.

The Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) said that Mount Semeru is currently not in normal condition, thus, there is a likelihood of eruptive material ejection, incandescent lava avalanches, hot clouds, and mud floods.

PVMBG is visually and instrumentally monitoring Mount Semeru from two observation posts in Sumber Wuluh village, Candipuro sub-district, Lumajang, and Argosuko village, Ampelgading sub-district, Malang.

Translator: Sugiharto P, Yuni Arisandy
Editor: Aditya Eko Sigit Wicaksono
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